A few weeks ago, I signed up for an introductory pole dancing class held at Forbidden Fruit on Wednesdays. Before getting into the dancing, one of the first things that the two instructors addressed were the stereotypes and stigmas that surround pole dancing. According to The Flying Studio, pole dancing didn't even enter strip clubs until the 1980's, and the dance traces it's lineage through yoga practice, the Victorian May pole, Chinese acrobats, up through Barnum and Bailey.
The class was set up in the store, with all of the racks pushed back to the walls. It was well populated by college students, two strippers, one wife getting ready to give her husband a sexy birthday present, some army personnel, a day care worker, a few returnees, the clerk at Forbidden Fruit, and of course, myself.
One thing I learned from my first step up to the pole, (which was not unexpected), is that it's HARD, and relies heavily on upper body strength. Exposed skin aided in sticking to the pole, but it still wasn't enough to merit not needing a spotter on most of the tricks they showed us. I never feel tall until I try to find the ground behind my head, starting from a standing position, and then the ground suddenly seems quite far away.
The class was a good introduction to the challenges of pole dancing, but not a place to hone skill or keep up a sweat since turns had to be taken. The sponsoring studio, Brass Ovaries, does open studio practice, as well as private lessons for 1-3 people at $60/hr. If I had the money, I would totally start going, and I'd never lose an arm wrestling contest again. Ever.
The Friday after the class I got sore and stayed sore for the duration of the weekend. I didn't immediatley experience the feminine empowerment that some of the returnees attested to, but I am writing this article, and I enjoyed myself, so perhaps this is the outpouring of those empowering stirrings. Either way, who's up for splitting $60?